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      Report shows Missouri near top in tobacco use

      JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A new report shows Missouri ranking high nationwide in the percentage of smokers and low in the size of its cigarette tax.

      State Auditor Susan Montee compiled national rankings of states to show how Missouri rates in more than two dozen categories, including the economy, education, health, crime and transportation.

      Missouri is neither best nor worst in anything.

      But it does have the second lowest cigarette tax, at 17 cents a pack. And it has the fourth highest smoking rate among adults, at 25 percent of the population.

      Missouri's cigarette tax is higher only than South Carolina's. Its adult smoking rate is lower only than those in West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky.

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